Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4).

Q. 1000.  Should we do more than merely respect the ministers of God?  A. We should do more than merely respect the ministers of God.  We should earnestly and frequently pray for them, that they may be enabled to perform the difficult and important duties of their holy state in a manner pleasing to God.

Q. 1001. {281} Who can confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders?  A. Bishops can confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Q. 1002.  How do we know that there is a true priesthood in the Church?  A. We know that there is a true priesthood in the Church:  (1) Because in the Jewish religion, which was only a figure of the Christian religion, there was a true priesthood established by God; (2) Because Christ conferred on His apostles and not on all the faithful the power to offer Sacrifice, distribute the Holy Eucharist and forgive sins.

Q. 1003.  But is there need of a special Sacrament of Holy Orders to confer these powers?  A. There is need of a special Sacrament of Holy Orders to confer these powers:  (1) Because the priesthood which is to continue the work of the apostles must be visible in the Church, and it must therefore be conferred by some visible ceremony or outward sign; (2) because this outward sign called Holy Orders gives not only power but grace and was instituted by Christ, Holy Orders must be a Sacrament.

Q. 1004.  Can bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church always exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders?  A. Bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church cannot exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders unless authorized and sent to do so by their lawful superiors.  The power can never be taken from them, but the right to use it may be withdrawn for causes laid down in the laws of the Church, or for reasons that seem good to those in authority over them.  Any use of sacred power without authority is sinful, and all who take part in such ceremonies are guilty of sin.

LESSON TWENTY-SIXTH.  ON MATRIMONY.

Q. 1005. {282} What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?  A. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage.

Q. 1006.  When are persons lawfully married?  A. Persons are lawfully married when they comply with all the laws of God and of the Church relating to marriage.  To marry unlawfully is a mortal sin, and it deprives the souls of the grace of the Sacrament.

Q. 1007.  When was marriage first instituted?  A. Marriage was first instituted in the Garden of Eden, when God created Adam and Eve and made them husband and wife, but it was not then a Sacrament, for their union did not confer any special grace.

Q. 1008.  When was the contract of marriage raised to the dignity of a Sacrament?  A. The exact time at which the contract of marriages was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament is not known, but the fact that it was thus raised is certain from passages in the New Testament and from the constant teaching of the Church ever since the time of the apostles.  Our Lord did not merely add grace to the contract, but He made the very contract a Sacrament, so that Christians cannot make this contract without receiving the Sacrament.

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Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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